“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” (Psalm 23:4)
My dear people of God,
With each passing day, we are confronted with an extended worrying threat that moves me to write this pastoral letter to you out of deep concern.
We read of the relentless Covid-19 pandemic and its gripping consequences – higher number of daily new cases and distressing death rates, particularly in the state of Selangor, despite the extended movement restrictions. More than ever before, we also witness the bitter truth and cruel impacts on the poor and vulnerable, children included.
Beyond economic effects, the deep social, emotional and psychological wellbeing of so many is alarmingly compromised. What is already agonising on so many fronts is further compounded with the current political instability – when instead it should be a time to put political rivalries aside and come together as united Malaysians to combat this pandemic.
These gruelling disruptions have caused tremendous fear and anxiety, sadly moving people into a state of helplessness and hopelessness.
I know that this bleak backdrop does not seem to offer a flicker of hope that the end is around the corner. Yet, against this very backdrop, what remains unchanged is that we are a people grounded in the faith that God is always with us – yes, even in this prolonged storm.
The growing number of individuals, Churches and organisations that are responding to human needs is indeed a sign that God is with us, and that humanity can and will prevail when faced with hardships and challenges.
I write to you today in these troubling and uncertain times to remind and assure you of this unshakeable promise that ‘even though we walk through the darkest valley, we will fear no evil, for God is with us’ (cf. Psalm 23:4).
With all the good that is happening on the ground, let us be mindful that persistent prayer will anchor us in the realisation that we are not alone.
Remembering the words of Jesus, “Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28), I invite all Catholics in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur to join me and be united in praying online before the Blessed Sacrament on Thursday, 15 July 2021 from 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm.
In addition, on Friday 16 July 2021 (Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel), let us together invoke the intercession of Mary, the Mother of the Divine Physician. As individuals or families, in your respective homes, make a conscious effort to pray the rosary, meditating on the Sorrowful Mysteries of our Lord Jesus Christ. May His victory over sin and death on the cross deliver us from this time of trial.
Acknowledging that God is in perfect control and that He has the power to change our lives, let us all ‘pray without ceasing’. May God’s continued protection remain with you and your loved ones.
+Most Reverend Julian Leow Beng Kim
Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur
Dated July 9, 2021